Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Prof Ephraim Kamuntu has announced government’s official position on calls for postponement of the 2021 general elections and declaration of a state emergency over the Covid19 pandemic.
Last month, Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama released a revised roadmap for next year’s election.
Among others, Justice Byabakama guided that campaigning would be restricted to media channels.
Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party argued this was a ruse for the EC to work in President Yoweri Museveni’s favour.
The Democratic Party (DP) even urged Museveni to declare a state of emergency and postpone the polls.
Pastor Joseph Kabuleta sued Byabakama over the ‘scientific’ 2021 elections. He said these would violate the rights of Ugandans.
POSTPONING 2021 ELECTIONS BELOW EXPECTATIONS
But on July 01, Minister Kamuntu told the legal and parliamentary affairs committee postponing the elections was off the table.
“Since 1996, Uganda has consistently held elections every five years. Periodic elections are part and parcel of the country’s historical mission of sustainable peace, security and stability,” he said.
“It has now become normal for the public to expect, every five years for the people to choose their leaders through elections.”
STATE OF EMERGENCY
He further told the MPs that the current situation didn’t warrant a state e of national emergency.
“Article 110 of the Constitution which relates to a state of emergency refers to external aggression and there is no external aggression against Uganda, it refers to internal insurgency and there is no insurgency in the country, “Kamuntu explained.
“It refers to a situation where there is virtually total breakdown. If there was a state of emergency even this parliament would not be sitting.”
Months ago, President Museveni rejected a proposal for the declaration of a state of emergency.
He stuck to the advice of Attorney General William Byaruhanga and rejected recommendations by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and former Chief Justice Bart Katureebe.